How to Help Your Firstborn Adapt to Baby

Mom's Little Helpers

Adapting to a bigger brood takes time, but your older kids may adopt a doting (even helpful!) role:

"If I'm changing Nora's diaper, Maeve says, 'Okay, Nora, let me sing you a song.' Nora just sits there and stares at her big sister." -- Kate, Summit, New Jersey, mom to Maeve, 3, and Nora, 1

"I call Zachary the 'third parent.' Right now he's "teaching" Andrew to use the potty!" -- Alisa, Boxford, Massachusetts, mom to Zachary, 7, and Andrew, 3

"Cassidy has a lot of fun pretending Cale is her prince or her puppy, which keeps them both happy!" -- Colleen, Missoula, Montana, mom to Cassidy, 4, and Cale, 21 months

"At a party, one of the older kids was yelling at Veronica. Anita said, 'Stop yelling at my sister! You're going to make her cry.' I was touched by her protectiveness." -- Sonia, East Greenwich, Rhode Island, mom to Anita, 4, and Veronica, 19 months

"My boys were very sweet when our third child was born. Matthew gave Chris toys that he wouldn't be able to play with for years, and Jack became upset if he thought I wasn't responding to the crying quickly enough." -- Kate, Pelham, New York, mom to Jack, 10, Matthew, 7, and Chris, 5

Michele Bender is a mother of two and a freelance writer in New York City.

Originally published in American Baby magazine, November 2006.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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